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Busi, Aldo (b. 1948)  
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There is much linguistic innovation in Busi's work, especially in the use of mock-philosophic peroration, satire, and social commentary. He also confounds expectations: his novels lapse into stream-of-consciousness, essay, and commentary; his travel books echo the escapades of his fictional characters, so generic boundaries are often blurred.

Busi's entire oeuvre may be regarded as a roman fleuve, one long seamless work of prose dialogue among the many facets of himself. To this end, he has identified the self with the fluidity of the sea.

While his work sometimes inadvertently tends to reinforce stereotypical views that highly-sexed males are doomed to become gypsies and wanderers, addicted to promiscuous sex and unable to have happy relationships, Busi himself is very clear about his scorn for such notions. He does however describe a world where the lonely writer acts as the arch-critic of conventional morality and of homosexual aspirations to be "normalized" by society.

Italian literature since Dante has historically emphasized the subversive potential of homosexuals in society; it has rarely explored them as individuals capable of integration. Thus, Busi may also be constrained by this distinctly Italian perspective. It is a view that often also assumes a divide between the educated man and the unhindered virility of the lower-class male, a world also explored by film maker Pasolini, with whom Busi has some interesting affinities.

Thus, Busi's work, despite being prodigious, daring, and inventive, offers cold comfort. Its focus is on the repellent in human behavior. He nevertheless remains a scabrous, perhaps necessary, singular voice. His is the voice of the misanthrope and transgressor, who subverts the unquestioned assumptions of Italian masculinity in the finest prose.

Desmond Ariel

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literature >> Overview:  Italian Literature

Until quite recently, male homosexuality has had a discontinuous, fragmented, and largely condemnatory history in Italian literature, and lesbianism has been almost totally ignored.

social sciences >> Overview:  Italy

Although it is a founding member of the European Union, Italy lags beyond other member states in the protections and respect it accords to glbtq citizens, especially gay and lesbian couples.

literature >> Overview:  Sadomasochistic Literature

Sadomasochistic literature, one of the most controversial forms of lesbian and gay writing, confronts such issues as domination, submission, uniformity, and humiliation and poses a constant challenge to them.

literature >> Dante Alighieri

In the Divine Comedy Dante treats male homosexuality first as violence against God and then more sympathetically as merely one of the kinds of love.

literature >> Pasolini, Pier Paolo

Most of the fiction and much of the poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini, one of the great Marxist homosexual artists of the twentieth century, was shaped by his fascination with the lives of subproletarian youths.

literature >> Rimbaud, Arthur

Because his writing stresses liberation, the French "boy-poet" Arthur Rimbaud, whose art is based solely on his individual creativity, is a progenitor of modern gay poetics.

literature >> Tondelli, Pier Vittorio

Although Pier Vittorio Tondelli occupies a central position within the Italian literary canon, the theme of homosexuality in his work has been ignored or minimized by his critics.


Consoli, Joseph P. "Aldo Busi." Gay and Lesbian Literature. Sharon Malinowski, ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. 60-62.

Seymour, Mark. "Busi, Aldo." Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present Day. Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon, eds. London: Routledge, 2001. 66-67.


    Citation Information
    Author: Ariel, Desmond  
    Entry Title: Busi, Aldo  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2006  
    Date Last Updated June 11, 2006  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2006 glbtq, Inc.  


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